Social Care leaders call on Government to end 25 years of inaction and fix social care system
Organisations representing more than 10 million people who have care and support needs, or are family carers or professionals who seek to meet those needs, say there is an “urgent need for clarity” after the Chancellor fails to mention social care in his Budget.
Social Care leaders from organisations representing more than 10 million people are uniting in a joint call on ministers to “break their silence” on the future of social care.
The alliance says that the coronavirus crisis has laid bare the fragilities of the social care system in England after 25 years of failure by successive governments to put it on a sustainable footing.
The alliance says there is now an “urgent need for clarity about the way forward” after the Chancellor “said nothing” about social care in his budget.
The alliance is calling for the Government to make an “immediate announcement” of extended and increased funding from April to stabilise the care system and ensure continued provision, meet the ongoing costs of COVID-19 and provide relief and respite for exhausted family carers and care workers.
They are also asking that the Government commit to publication before the summer parliamentary recess of promised proposals to “fix the crisis in social care once and for all”, giving MPs the opportunity to hear from their constituents about the care and support they want for themselves and their families.
“With little more than two weeks to go until the new financial year, there is still no news of what funding will be available for care and support and for our care workers who have responded so magnificently throughout the coronavirus crisis,” James Bullion, president of the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services, said.
“We were bitterly disappointed that social care was not mentioned in the chancellor’s budget statement. We are calling on the government to put that right and offer real hope of a way forward for more than 10 million of us who draw on social care or work to provide it.
“This government has the chance to end 25 years of indecision over social care and create a historic legacy. We are urging it to seize that chance now.”
Much of the special funding for exceptional COVID-19 costs runs out at the end of this month and there has been no announcement of what, if anything, is to follow.
Chairman of the Local Government Association’s Community Wellbeing Board, Cllr Ian Hudspeth, said social care has been “on the frontline” throughout the pandemic and experiencing “intense pressure”.
“Emergency funding for social care to date has been helpful, but it is essential this is extended beyond the end of this month to prevent any immediate impact on people’s care and health support. We also need a clear plan for the future of adult social care, to address both immediate and short-term pressures, but also how we fund and pay for this vital service in the long-term.”
Provision of an extra minimum £3bn for the extra liabilities of local government as a whole was mooted in the 2020 Spending Review, but leaders say this will have to cover costs beyond social care including councils’ loss of income and special health and safety arrangements for local elections in May.
Kathy Roberts, Chair of the Care Provider Alliance, said that emergency funding had “been a lifeline” to the sector, but the ongoing cost pressures from COVID were leaving many providers, employees and the people they support “balancing on a financial cliff edge”.
View the full statement:
The full list of organisations supporting the calls are:
- Association of Directors of Adult Social Services
- Care and Support Alliance
- Care Provider Alliance
- Local Government Association
- Social Care Future
- Social Care Institute for Excellence
- Think Local Act Personal
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